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Comment Re:Does any one care? (Score 1) 440

The primary test for all kinds of organized crime is that there has to be an agreement between the involved parties, an understanding to commit a crime together. That is usually the difficult part to prove.

A torrent is more like a mob. You can leave or join at any time and nobody else cares much. There's very little organisation. I don't think you could successfully bring an organized crime charge against a mob.

Comment wrong approach (Score 1) 44

What we need more is a base model of distrust.

The primary design error in networking was to trust other devices. If we had designed networking from the start under the assumption of malicious intruders, we would have things like "to do anything, you need a token that proves you're allowed to do it". It would be in the protocols.

On embedded devices, I want a networking stack that will cryptographically check all incoming packets, and at the lowest level discard them if they don't carry a valid token. Nothing gets even processed unless you are authorized to interact with the device.

Comment Re:Does any one care? (Score 1) 440

this torrent is legally questionable to download

Depends on your jurisdiction.

In many jurisdictions, data about real-world facts cannot be copyrighted, so the only theoretically copyrightable parts are the texts that users wrote (profile texts and emails), and I would guess that AM is not the coypright holder (thought they could have a clause in the contract saying posting something on the site is a transferal of copyright).

So they could claim trade secret, but in many jurisdictions once your secret is no longer secret, it is not a trade secret anymore. Basically, the courts refuse to participate in the "let's sue everyone because the whole world knows" scenario.

Since you don't have a connection to the original hackers, what crime you think they would sue you for?

Comment Re:pros and cons (Score 1) 108

True to some extent. I didn't say forget all good practice.

But, for example, for the game listed in my .sig I wrote a lot of very specific GIS code. Yes, I could have spent the additional time and conceptual work and written a generic "find object on map based on criteria" service and maybe it would be useful in some future project.

But with what I've learnt doing it the way I did, I could write another task-specific piece of GIS code in half the time that the abstraction would cost me, with none of the overhead and performance impacts.

Comment pros and cons (Score 1) 108

There are definite advantages to a solo-programmer project.

For starters, you can take shortcuts you couldn't take in a team, because there is a reason that you have all these coding styles and guidelines and templates and levels of abstraction and frameworks and all that other stuff, and the reason is "you are not the only person working on this project".

Well, if you are a lot of these constraints disappear. I love to write code with a low amount of abstraction, because yes, I understand its advantages, but if I need to hop through 20 levels of abstraction before I find the place where the actual (potentially buggy) calculation is being done, that's just a chore. In a team, where other people re-use your code, you want modular.

There are projects you can do alone. In fact, a lot of applications can perfectly well be written by one person with enough time. I've got probably a million lines of code in various projects that are all one-man projects or started out that way.

And frameworks make your job easier not more difficult. There is so much stuff in them that you don't have to re-invent or write yourself. I wrote one complex web-app using pure PHP and I don't want to ever do that again. With Symfony2 (my choice ATM) or whatever other framework you like, you can have a basic app running in one day.

What I find to be the problem more and more is not that you need more programmers. But that you need designers and graphics artists and UX experts to make a competitive software, application, website, etc. today.

Back in C64 times, you could draw a couple sprites yourself, even if you were not an artist. Yeah, they would not look as great, but it was good enough. Today, peoples standards are higher and while you can make a 12x21 pixel that looks similar to what a real artist might make, you will not do something that comes even close at 128x128.

So in summary: Absolutely, you can code a reasonably complex application with one programmer. Aside from a few edge cases it is really hard to create the whole application with everything as one person. Though in parts you can simply buy what you can't make yourself. Icons are not a problem to get for free or for money, for example.

Comment Re:Does any one care? (Score 4, Interesting) 440

Yes, because this data set gives us interesting insights into so many topics. From figuring out what your chances of actually meeting a woman on such sites, to demographical analysis (how does the data set in the AM database vary from the average demographics? How can we explain the difference? Self-reporting bias (i.e. presenting yourself better than you are), of course, but maybe there is more?

Blackmailing these people really is just skiming the surface for easy-to-catch fish. If you dig deep into such a dataset, who knows what you can find?

Are their profile texts included? I'm sure you can do so many interesting linguistical analysis if you have both the texts and the demographic data. I know this has been done in the past on other dating sites for research projects, but here you have an even more specific set. We can measure deception in written language - do these profiles show above-average signs of deception, or are these people who deceive their spouses honest to their potential online partners?

Comment Re:Really? (Score 5, Funny) 440

Depends on the body mass of these people, which thankfully are included in the sample (well, at least their self-reported body mass, but we have good studies showing the statistical discrepancies, so we can extrapolate).

If we assume that 4 people can comfortably fuck on a king-size bed, and for simplicity assume such a bed to be 2x2 m then a football field 6400 m^2 (american football) oder 7140 m^2 (european soccer) is the equivalent of 1600-1785 orgies. Let's leave a little space inbetween for walking, etc. then we have 1500 women and 4500 men on such a football field.

The analysis says 12,000 women, so that's 8 football fields. Since that includes only 36,000 men, the remaining ca. 32 mio. need to fit in the stands, meaning 4 mio. per stadium. The largest stadium in the world is, interestingly, in North Korea and it fits 150,000.

So, by flawless math and logic, we can deduce that a lot of those male profiles are either fake as well, or gay (which means we need to add a couple stadiums with same-sex orgies).

There, put it into football fields for you. Happy?

Comment Re:Updates (Score 1) 410

I can do it myself, in which case I may screw up my vehicle.

Which is basically saying that you can't do it yourself. Which is good. If you don't know enough about recoding a car computer, then you don't know enough to make sure your recoding doesn't break something important that only shows up when you're going 150 mph.

Comment Re:Judging by the story so far... (Score 1) 367

Times change.

When these morals were created, the reality was that you'd get married to someone your parents selected, usually for economic (lower classes) or political (nobility) reasons. You would marry that person sometimes without seing them even once before the wedding. And you were expected to keep that marriage intact, because through that marriage your family would get the (whatever reasons there were for the marriage in the first place).

However, the reality was also that people understood marriage as such an institution. They looked for love outside the marriage. A lot of kings had official mistresses. Even more had semi-official ones. I dare say that if one didn't have even one known mistress, people probably suspected that he's gay.

Same was true on other social levels, just not so blatantly (not everyone can afford to be so open about it). We have enough poems and songs that make it quite clear that people then were not so different from us today.

Women were another topic, because their infidelity was more serious - if your son is going to inherit everything, it's kind of important that he really is your son. Not so important how many other sons you have somewhere else. In fact, might not be a bad idea to have a few in reserve.

Nothing is so simple when it comes to us humans. That our marriage partner is also our soulmate was a happy coincidence for most of history, and only recently has become more or less expected.

Comment Other: Dating Sites Economy (Score 1) 367

As I see it, the primary outcome will be the implosion of the dating sites market.

We all suspected that they are 90% men. Now we know that's true, and more data analysis will clear up the picture more (I'm still skeptical of the first results, as they strike me way too low even all things considered. Maybe they added that last_read field later and old accounts never updated it or something?).

Other sites will now feel the pressure. So far they could point to some database statistics and say "we have x% women, for real". Now people will say "AM said the same".

We know that there are real women on real dating sites on the real Internet really meeting with real men in the real world. I'm pretty sure most of us have at least one case of a couple that met online somewhere in their social circles.

But now the serious sites will have even higher pressure to prove that they are not fakes, and the scam sites will have even higher pressure to scam better. There will be some casualties.

Laws? Nah. Nobody will put forward a law to protect adulterers, not in the US. People would point to the 10 commandments and ask for his head.

Financial? I'm pretty sure there are some people in the dump who have since divorced or for some other reason don't fear any social fallout and will sue AM. But does it matter, in the big picture? Nah.

Emotional? Probably there will be some marriages breaking now, but frankly speaking, they were already broken. At the same time, and people will hate me for saying it, there is some good evidence that such traumatic betrayl can actually improve relationships. You know, instead of hiding shit and growing more and more distant, now it's on the table and it's make or break. I'm not making this up, I just read it from psychologists in this field.

Security? You've got to be kidding. Nothing here is new, from an IT Security perspective. Maybe some companies will look at it and say "that shouldn't happen to us", but as soon as they realize that security is more than hiring a consultant for a week to tell you what you already know, it will get buried in the usual pile of things-that-IT-should-really-do-really-soon-but-it-shouldn't-cost-anything.

Comment Re:Very sad - but let's get legislation in place N (Score 1) 705

AM is actually a good example.

With the data analysis coming out now, it becomes clear that not the fact they couldn't keep customer data secret will damage them, but the fact that the data reveals their shady business strategy (for example that almost all the women profiles are fakes or inactives).

Many companies have skeletons like that in the closet. You think Facebook or Twitter user numbers represent actual, active users? Of course not. If the true numbers were reliably exposed, their customers (advertisers) would not be willing to pay prices based on the inflated numbers anymore.

God doesn't play dice. -- Albert Einstein